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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 08-08-21, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
Yes...
Most of us here on thread are not as young as we once were.....
The addition of 2 or 3 teeth on the rear cog makes a big difference.
Amusingly, I tried to fit a smaller cog from 21 to 17, The dropout did not allow me to do it, even after removing a link.
I just wanted to go faster. So i remain with my 21
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Old 08-08-21, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ConnoisseurEqua
I have 3 Raleighs and A Hercules. I never had a problem with any cable getting in my feet. The gear cable is protected. Therefore it does not tend to rust.
One of the Raleigh have that upper way and is totally open to the weather conditions,
The pulley is rusted. Part of its restoration to come. [Still cant post pics.Frustrating]
IMO, the original, older SA shifter cables with fulcrum stops are superior. Far less friction and typically, they are impervious to oxidation as well as accommodating wider variations of stem and bar combinations.

Don't be frustrated by the 10 posts. It's necessary and will be over in a jiffy.
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Old 08-08-21, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ConnoisseurEqua
Amusingly, I tried to fit a smaller cog from 21 to 17, The dropout did not allow me to do it, even after removing a link.
I just wanted to go faster. So i remain with my 21
There should be no issues with a 17 or 18 tooth cog on an SA hub. You really need that big of a gear?

How old are you?
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Old 08-08-21, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
There should be no issues with a 17 or 18 tooth cog on an SA hub. You really need that big of a gear?
How old are you?
Never ask a gentleman his age.. but old enough to be a grandad. Fit.
I use my 3 speed most days. No rain for me nor my bikes. We dont like it much.
I did fit one but it was to long for the dropout.
I find it too easy on the flat. Cant pedal faster than I already do.
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Old 08-08-21, 09:42 PM
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Thanks for everyone's help to get my Western Flyer on the road. Today's coffee shop ride was a success, other than a few jumps out of second gear. I guess I've still some tweaking to do to the shifter and cable.

The coffee shop sits adjacent to a bike shop. The guy working there, who is a huge vintage fan, sat on the ground next to Mocha (the nameplate hanging from the saddle of the Western Flyer) and checked it out up close. He really liked it! Someday, at 10 posts, you'll see it.
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Old 08-09-21, 07:19 AM
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^^Thats a great shop bike mechanic to have!
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Old 08-09-21, 09:52 AM
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Over the past few weeks, I've been reviving this 1949-50 Schwinn Superior three speed. It is a bit of an oddity - an electroforged frame with a seamless and brazed bottom bracket housing Schwinn-branded cottered cranks. The color is an interesting, medium green. Schwinn copied English design by adding a white tip to the rear fender. The frame itself appears very similar to a New World, but with more embellishment and that cottered bottom bracket. The project is disassembled right now and being cleaned for re-assembly. It has the old-style built-in kickstand that uses a spring and pin system. Brake calipers are the old, steel "Schwinn Built" ones, and it has the "Schwinn" script brake levers.

It came to me missing its wheels. I was lucky enough to have a helpful seller locate and sell to me a set of 1949 Schwinn stainless steel S6 wheels. The stainless S6 set was a real upgrade over the standard chrome steel S6. The AW hub is dated 1-49. Front hub is a Schwinn script hourglass type.

Overall this is an interesting bike, and an interesting example of a Schwinn 3-speed that got sandwiched in above the New World base model and below the fillet brazed Cr-Mo Continental (not to be confused with the later, 10-speed electroforged Continental) of that era.







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Old 08-09-21, 10:30 AM
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@SirMike1983, that is an interesting bike, indeed. It is too bad we don't see more of these '40s Schwinn three speeds.
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Old 08-09-21, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Over the past few weeks, I've been reviving this 1949-50 Schwinn Superior three speed. It is a bit of an oddity - an electroforged frame with a seamless and brazed bottom bracket housing Schwinn-branded cottered cranks. The color is an interesting, medium green. Schwinn copied English design by adding a white tip to the rear fender. The frame itself appears very similar to a New World, but with more embellishment and that cottered bottom bracket. The project is disassembled right now and being cleaned for re-assembly. It has the old-style built-in kickstand that uses a spring and pin system. Brake calipers are the old, steel "Schwinn Built" ones, and it has the "Schwinn" script brake levers.

It came to me missing its wheels. I was lucky enough to have a helpful seller locate and sell to me a set of 1949 Schwinn stainless steel S6 wheels. The stainless S6 set was a real upgrade over the standard chrome steel S6. The AW hub is dated 1-49. Front hub is a Schwinn script hourglass type.

Overall this is an interesting bike, and an interesting example of a Schwinn 3-speed that got sandwiched in above the New World base model and below the fillet brazed Cr-Mo Continental (not to be confused with the later, 10-speed electroforged Continental) of that era.






Looks fillet-brazed to me. Doesn't have the usual pointy seat stays, but otherwise the joints don't look electroforged.
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Old 08-09-21, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Looks fillet-brazed to me. Doesn't have the usual pointy seat stays, but otherwise the joints don't look electroforged.
Check out the dropout to stay connection. EF for sure. Combo construction methods.

Last edited by BFisher; 08-09-21 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Over the past few weeks, I've been reviving this 1949-50 Schwinn Superior three speed.


Shout-out to the old blue Connecticut license plate in the workshed!
Mine:


Edit: Looks like Mike's is older than mine.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I remember the good old days when this thread wasnít 90% talk of buying and selling and 10% talk of actual bikes.
+1 on that sentiment. I get that selling bikes can be frustrating and it's nice to vent every once in awhile, but if you live in an area where bikes are undervalued, you are not going to sell your bikes for as much as you hope. You need to figure out a way to get those bikes to a more valuable market, whether it mean selling on eBay, getting those bikes into a city, consigning them, etc. Talking about this should probably be on another thread.

Anyways, here's a pic of my Superbe at the beach here in Portland, on a day it hit 108F:
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Old 08-09-21, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Looks fillet-brazed to me. Doesn't have the usual pointy seat stays, but otherwise the joints don't look electroforged.
Originally Posted by BFisher
Check out the dropout to stay connection. EF for sure. Combo construction methods.
That's part of what drew me to this (the unusual green color also is nice) - some of the joints are fillet brazed, but the core of the frame is electroforged. They used a bottom bracket shell from a tandem (T serial number even), then brazed that in with an electroforged frame around it. The tube diameter is the typical small, electroforged type, except it has the cottered crank bottom bracket instead of the ashtabula type. Historically, there hasn't been much information online about these post-war Superiors, which were somewhat downgraded from the pre-war version, and only made briefly before being replaced by the 1950s era line up. Between this project and a helpful user at the CABE forum providing me information on his own green Superior, I've gotten some good information and pictures to learn more about these largely forgotten post-war Superiors.

Originally Posted by adventurepdx
Shout-out to the old blue Connecticut license plate in the workshed!
Mine:


Edit: Looks like Mike's is older than mine.
It might well be. My folks don't throw anything away that has any value. I think it's a 1980s or, at the latest, 90s era plate. It was on my mother's station wagon for many years. They phased them out with the "safety" plates, which are not nearly as attractive. My brother's old 1980s era Massachusetts plate is back there somewhere too. And somewhere in the basement is the 1950-51 plate from my grandfather's old dump truck.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
It might well be. My folks don't throw anything away that has any value. I think it's a 1980s or, at the latest, 90s era plate. It was on my mother's station wagon for many years. They phased them out with the "safety" plates, which are not nearly as attractive. My brother's old 1980s era Massachusetts plate is back there somewhere too. And somewhere in the basement is the 1950-51 plate from my grandfather's old dump truck.
I'm guessing yours is older than about 1985. Those had "Constitution State" on top, "Connecticut" on bottom. Around 1985 (I think when the state switched from only-rear needed to both front-and-back again) they flipped the two so "Connecticut" was on top, and they put a tiny map of the state too. I left the state right before the light blue plate came into being.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:28 PM
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A few months back I passed up the chance at a Superior just like that one. The ask was more than I was willing to pay, though not totally unreasonable. Nice to see this one show up here. Nice color and graphics.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:59 PM
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Progress.....

The Sports is back together somewhat...
Still needs some detail work.
Too small for me but I'll get a longer seat post.
I've had a few 21" frames and do find them good city bikes.
They can be quite nimble.
Total cost to date:
Frame @ $40.00
Everything else from stock or repurposed.
As usual with these builds, the saddle is the most expensive part.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher
A few months back I passed up the chance at a Superior just like that one. The ask was more than I was willing to pay, though not totally unreasonable. Nice to see this one show up here. Nice color and graphics.
Yeah, I hear that. Overall, it's still basically a "light roadster" type bike like a Raleigh Sports would be. The frame angles and sizes are a little different, but it's still a basic 3-speed. It's reasonable when people say they're too much, especially if you can snag a nice Raleigh Sports for less. They're kind of more obscure and appeal to someone who is specifically after a Schwinn or US-built three speed in particular. I have seen better deals on Facebook Marketplace for English three speeds than either of the two recent Superiors sold for. The Coventry-built Triumph that was mentioned on this thread earlier was a steal, as was the old Sunbeam light roadster with the A-shaped caliper brakes that recently sold.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Seattube bands indicate 1960's, but early enough to predate the thinner seatstays.

-Kurt
Yeah, I agree
It came with a plastic pulley as well as a modernish
sealed bottom bracket that I removed.
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Old 08-10-21, 09:25 AM
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Nice paint!
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ok_story_share
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Old 08-10-21, 09:58 AM
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Finally hit 10 posts! Back in March a buddy gave me a couple old bikes he bought in a three-bike CL deal. He kept the Hawthorne. I got these rusty relics.

On the right is a Schwinn. I've no idea what model (have yet to research it). On the left is a Western Flyer with a 3-speed SA hub dated 1960.

The cotter crank was frozen. Many choice words were said getting it apart. I nearly scrapped the project due to difficulty removing the drive-side bearing cup. The SA hub was frozen. When I removed the rear wheel, the chain kept the same shape. You get the idea!

After hours removing rust with white vinegar, aluminum foil and brass brushes, I moved on to the SA hub.

Removing rust, piece by piece, was both a challenge and therapy.

Fast forward a couple months. Being a motorcycle fan, I realized I could flip the bars and rotate them to give the appearance of a 1920s board track racer. I also frequent a coffee shop rife with nice mountain bikes parked outside. I figured if I kept the original paint/patina, folks would look right past my bike to focus on the high-dollar stuff. So, here's the Western Flyer:


Being a coffee shop bike, and being born in '68, I had a plate made with its name - Mocha



After 10-20 hours getting Mocha on the road, I figured my time was worth more than $3.25/hour. So, I picked up a coffee shop bike for my wife on CL for $70. It's name, you ask? Java.

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Old 08-10-21, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
^^Thats a great shop bike mechanic to have!
Agreed! He told me he is trying to collect one Schwinn from each decade covering 1895 to 1995. He has six decades covered thus far. I think I found a great resource for future questions!
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Old 08-10-21, 11:45 AM
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The Schwinn may be a "Speedster" model, which took a couple forms over the years. Schwinn recycled names sometimes for differing models and frames. The silver color you see is actually the under-coat for what was originally red. Schwinn sprayed a primer first, then an aluminum colored base coat, and then topped the aluminum coat with a translucent color of choice - blue, red, green, etc. This is why the post-war "candy" type Schwinn colors look the way they do - you're seeing light reflecting off the aluminum undercoating through the translucent color top coat.

What happens is if the bicycle is exposed to the elements a great deal (particularly intense sunlight), the top color oxidizes, but the aluminum base coat remains. The result is that you see the base coat and the top coat is gone. Schwinn Radiant Red was particularly known for this, but the other colors sometimes do it too. It tends to happen particularly on red bikes stored outside because of exposure to the elements. Testor's "Stoplight Red" paint is a close match for the original red translucent top coat.
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Old 08-10-21, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by theofam
After 10-20 hours getting Mocha on the road, I figured my time was worth more than $3.25/hour. So, I picked up a coffee shop bike for my wife on CL for $70. It's name, you ask? Java.

Just so you know, those brake levers are notorious for not working. You'll want to find an older set that don't have the pesky 'auto adjusters'.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:00 PM
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Salubrious - thanks for letting me know. As my wifeís bike, my marriage will be much happier if her ďnewĒ bike actually stops!

I tried Continental Kwik Stops on Mocha, but they were insanely noisy, so I reverted back to the old brake pads. Theyíre quiet but merely provide more of a suggestion of slowing.

SirMike1983 - Iíll research Speedsters. I need to get the SN off the bike next time I see it, too. Thatíll likely help. Thanks for the lesson on the paint process as well as the tip for the Testorís color substitute.

Hereís a question for the collective. Mochaís rear wheel mustíve been run into a curb or pothole at some point in time. It has a wavy sidewall (correct term?) and a resulting flat spot that makes for a terrible ride. Iíve had no luck thus far on eBay finding a replacement hoop. Does anyone make EA3 reproduction hoops for these bikes? Do I buy a donor bike? Your experiences are welcome.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by theofam
Salubrious - thanks for letting me know. As my wifeís bike, my marriage will be much happier if her ďnewĒ bike actually stops!

I tried Continental Kwik Stops on Mocha, but they were insanely noisy, so I reverted back to the old brake pads. Theyíre quiet but merely provide more of a suggestion of slowing.


SirMike1983 - Iíll research Speedsters. I need to get the SN off the bike next time I see it, too. Thatíll likely help. Thanks for the lesson on the paint process as well as the tip for the Testorís color substitute.

Hereís a question for the collective. Mochaís rear wheel mustíve been run into a curb or pothole at some point in time. It has a wavy sidewall (correct term?) and a resulting flat spot that makes for a terrible ride. Iíve had no luck thus far on eBay finding a replacement hoop. Does anyone make EA3 reproduction hoops for these bikes? Do I buy a donor bike? Your experiences are welcome.
Rims are getting hard to find. Here's one:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/392470303...AAAOSw3f9dnI5U

WRT brakes, if you were getting squealing with the new Kool Stops, you need to twist the calipers a bit so that the trailing edge of the brake pad contacts the rim first. It doesn't take much but if they set down at the same time along their length, the pads (and rim) will squeal.
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